South Indian teachers in a fix as forms incomplete with no surname
South Indian teachers who generally don't use surnames are in a bind - cannot upload mandatory activity form as system considers it incomplete if the column is left empty
Overburdened with online classes, teachers from the South Indian community are now facing a strange problem while uploading their teaching reports on a special portal that has been opened by the Maharashtra State Council for Educational Research and Training (MSCERT). As they do not have surnames, they leave that particular box on the online form empty, but the system doesn't accept the rest of the data saying that the form is incomplete.
The state government started the new system a couple of days ago, as part of which all school and junior college teachers have to upload their online/offline teaching/learning activities every week. While teachers have already raised the issue of it being additional work amidst the pandemic, some of them are now faced with the new challenge.
Requesting anonymity, a teacher from an Andheri school said, "Like many of my other colleagues, I too decided to start uploading my teaching details on the given portal. However, I was not able to proceed further as the surname column was empty. Every time I tried to click on proceed, a message saying details are incomplete would pop up." Adding to this, another teacher said, "Usually we have options like not-applicable (NA) etc in forms but there is nothing like it in the online one."
When contacted, MSCERT director Dinkar Patil said, "We have not received any such complaint yet. However, now that it has been pointed out, the team will ensure that it's corrected."
Uday Nare, who teaches at Hansraj Morarji School, has written to the government regarding this additional load of data collection. He said, "Teachers are not really given any training for the online classes. Whatever is currently being done is a proactive approach of the teachers and the respective schools. The state government is collecting all this data but do they have enough manpower to keep a track of it for assessment? What is the purpose of collecting such data amidst the pandemic?"
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